Max Verstappen has claimed the Azerbaijan F1 layout is “way too bumpy” and he led calls to resurface and flatten the main straight.
Numerous drivers complained of back pains across the weekend in Baku but Lewis Hamilton seemed to suffer the most with his discomfort evident as he climbed out of his Mercedes after the race.
Whilst some cars were subjected to the porpoising seen throughout the year so far, other teams were faced with pure mechanical bouncing associated with ride height and suspension stiffness.
Street circuits, with a road surface not laid specifically for racing, will inherently be bumpier due to natural wear and tear but Verstappen believes the Baku City Circuit was a step too far. “It is enjoyable to drive, just, I think, it’s getting a bit bumpy in some places, especially now with the new cars being so stiff and low to the ground,” said Verstappen when asked about the venue. “I think the main straight is way too bumpy, we have to really try and find a bit of a line.
“So it would be nice if that could be resurfaced for next year. But overall, I think it’s a special track, also the second sector, you know, between the castle bit, it’s quite unique, I would say.”
Leclerc fight ‘would have been interesting’
When Verstappen’s championship rival Charles Leclerc retired from the race, the Ferrari driver was benefitting from a sizable lead, albeit through an earlier stop. Both Verstappen and Sergio Perez were set to reel the Monégasque in before the end of the race by utilising enhanced grip from fresher tyres. But asked if there was any concern Leclerc’s strategy was the optimum route, the reigning champion replied: “Well, as soon as we got out and they told me the gap, I think it was like 12-13 seconds, that’s quite a bit of a gap to close.
“But then I saw his pace as like, I think, yeah. I was like, yeah, let’s see if we can fully close that gap. “I had confidence that with the car we had and the pace we had that it would have been an interesting fight to the end.”